Meet United’s new captain


Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail“Wayne said that we should have pursued Mesut Özil. My reply was that it was none of his business who we should have gone for. I told him it was his job to play and perform,” said Sir Alex Ferguson in his autobiography, as he explains his opinion over Wayne Rooney’s desire to leave Old Trafford in October 2010 when the club, according to Rooney, wasn’t ambitious enough.

How times change. Three and half years on since that day, Rooney has won other two Premier League titles with United, seen the man that had not too subtly told him to mind his business depart, before threatening to leave the club himself, only to become United’s player of the season, so far.

And there’s a lot more to come as far as Rooney and Manchester United are concerned, for not only are United and their star man edging closer to finalise a deal that could be worth up to £300,000-a-week, a significant increase on the already staggering £250,000-a-week contract in place now, but Rooney will be made captain sooner rather than later.

Rooney’s performances this season have done enough to guarantee him a new deal – one dare not to imagine where United would sit on the table had they sold him to Chelsea last summer – and considering that his current contract expires in 18 months, it’s perhaps a smart decision by United to tie their striker to a long-term deal, thus minimising the distractions generated by potential suitors circling around Rooney for the next couple of months.

However, reports emerging today highlight how Rooney has been given an enormous amount of hindsight over the club business, a sharp change of policy from the Sir Alex Ferguson era when, as made abundantly clear in the first paragraph, the players’ job was “to play and perform”.

According to the Guardian, The Times and other publications, Rooney was informed by David Moyes of United’s intentions to submit a club-record offer for Juan Mata and has also spoken at length to Ed Woodward and members of the Glazers family, as he sought insurances over their future plans for the club.

Rooney “has been trusted with transfer-market information and kept in the loop about possible signings in a move that acknowledges his importance to the club and a recognition, at the highest level within Old Trafford, that a player of Rooney’s stature deserves to know whether a team who have been struggling all season have the financial muscle and ambition to put it right.”

The tactic seems to have worked a treat, with Rooney set to sign a new contract at Old Trafford sooner rather than later, which will keep him United until he’s 33, which has prompted some to doubt the wisdom of giving such a long contract to a man who’ll turn 30 next year and whose body has taken a battering, as Rooney himself admitted in his latest autobiography.

The promise of a new contract and United’s “VIP treatment” as one paper puts it, look to have finally convinced Rooney that United will not listen to any offer coming from Chelsea over the summer, much as they rebuffed Jose Mourinho’s two bids in August.

Have we heard the end of this story yet? Probably not.



  1. It’s an astonishing amount but, as with Mata, its a statement of intent by the club that they are trying to compete with the best by not only attracting top players but in retaining the ones they’ve got. Despite the under performance on the pitch, one of Moyes’ actual achievements so far, alongside the capture of Mata and the retention of Januzaj despite interest from other clubs, has been keeping Rooney and getting him to play at his best. Clearly Moyes is a pragmatist and bore no grudge from the litigation matter between the two over Rooney’s book. He realised immediately, whereas Fergie hadn’t through his brinkmanship towards the end of last season,that United could not afford to lose arguably its best player. That position appears not to have diminished despite the arrival of Mata which is most encouraging.

    On the captaincy issue, neither Vidic nor Evra, nor briefly Ferdinand have been all that effective as captains – not when you consider the successful skippers United has had in the past – eg Keane, Bruce, Robson. There is and has been for some time now, a distinct lack of leadership within the team. Rooney appears to be a leader on the pitch, more out of example than anything else. Its a role he could grow into and if, at the same time, Moyes uses it as part of the overall incentive to keep Rooney at the club, then so be it.

    Rooney still has to put pen to paper of course but, as with Mata, this just indicates that the club, post Fergie, is determined to do everything it can to back Moyes and get United back to the top as soon as possible.

  2. Unfortunately the only way to get Rooney to perform is to pander to his massive ego and throw money at him. It is clear he has no real love for the club and would rather be a big fish in a rapidly shrinking pond. Making Rooney captain gives him a guaranteed starter spot that Ferguson clearly did not believe he deserved.

    While he has been impressive this season it is because he had something to prove and felt he had won his little battle with Sir Alex. Soon his motivation will fade and he will get out of shape and he will age badly and we will wonder why we are paying £300K a week to a 30 something has been.

    If his so called ambition isn’t just a ruse to extort more money from the club how will he feel after a few seasons of no Champions League football and no title races? Because it will take more than Juan Mata to get us back into the top four and this season is probably going to be a write off. I’d much rather have someone young and hungry than a spoilt diva like Rooney in the difficult years to come.

    And how soon before he gets bent out of shape when he gets played out of position because I hardly imagine we bought Mata to shove him out wide and Van Persie isn’t going to willingly give up his number 9 spot to accomodate Rooney.

    Making Rooney an untouchable to use Mourinho’s expression is a very dangerous precedent. Clearly one particular player is bigger than if not the club then at least his hapless manager.

    Rumour has it that Rooney is not a particular popular figure in the dressing room. How will our players feel when he is made captain and given another pay rise?

    Maybe I am wrong and Rooney really does care about this club and will do what it takes to play at the top level well into his thirties and will be instrumental in getting this club back to the top. In that case the £300K will be worth every penny. But I doubt it.

    • @colver: What total and utter rot!!

      The wave of the future is going to be led by Wayne Rooney, whether he is spoiled or overpaid (and that’s none of your business, either) so you better pull up your red socks, Sonny Jim, and start focusing on the way forward and getting behind the players that will spearhead it.

      Rooney has, by far, been our best player this season and with the exception of Ronaldo, he’s been our best player since his arrival. On that basis alone he deserves the captaincy and if he can wangle a huge contract out of the Glazers, then good luck to him.
      How much do you make?? Too much, perhaps??

      • @Redrich: Worth mentioning that Rooney has also acted like a petulant little knob, figuratively speaking he’s been wiping his arse on the United shirt for a few years now.
        Awful decision to make him captain, should have sold him and been done with it.
        Guarantee that he’ll come back to United next summer over weight and out of shape.
        Moyes’ pandering to Rooney will only cause divison in the camp. It’s only a matter of time till this blows up in Moyes’ face.
        Rooney may well have been one of our better players this season, but he’s miles of Ronaldo and Messi’s level. And he’s still managed to look like a psychotic donkey at times, kicking players who out play him, stropping like a child when he doesn’t get his own way, repeatedly threatening to leave, and all the while Moyes is backing United into a corner with his constant over the top praise for an average player resulting in Rooney being able to demand an outragous pay rise, again.
        For £300k a week i expect world class performances every single game, but we obviously won’t get that, we’ll get Rooney running around like a headless chicken, trying to do everything but failing.
        Massive mistake.

        • @BigRed: You are predicting a fiction, based on your prejudice and not on your football logic.
          In the rabbit hole with you, BigRed!!

    • Who else has stepped up on this squad??? Basically only 1 player had been on every time they step on the pitch, and that has been Rooney.

      I say that, and I have had plenty of issues with Rooney…. but if he wants the responsibility, if he wants this team on his shoulders, he is doing what it takes to get that. His performance deserves it, and if he’s willing to dedicate his career to United, that is a MASSIVE lift for us.

      Moyes needs this, he needs good players in his corner, a core that is loyal to him, that trusts him and will fight for him.

      I am so glad to hear Moyes saying there will be plenty more signings. GOOD!!!! I am ecstatic, Moyes is getting the must have productive players on his side, like Rooney, RVP…. that’s basically it at the moment, everyone else is on trial. This makes me feel much more optimistic about the future.

  3. @Julian what are u smoking mate.Vidic has been a great captain and has the accolades to prove that.He has been injured Ehe Evra was deputising and has also aged like John Terry or Steve Gerrard.Or do we define leadership in terms of being British?

    • @vida dollar: I cant agree. In what way has he been a great captain? No way is he in the same league as say Robson, Keane or Bruce. I am talking about an animated leader on the pitch who lets everyone know what they should be doing, driving the team forward etc. In effect we have virtually been leaderless since Keane. Juggling the captaincy hasn’t helped either.

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